The other night I was watching a TV show that showed the blood-letting of a cow in the African Maasai tribe. They didn’t kill the cow and it didn’t look hurt, but it was gruesome none the same. Then the show continued with a hunt and ended up killing a wild cat that looked just like a big house cat. It was sobering in that the death and killing of a creature for food is so far removed from our easy access at the grocery store.
When we buy burger or steaks at the store, we don’t think of the death of the being. It’s just something to eat. We forget that a life was taken. And we are disturbed when we see images of the life of a cow being taken and butchered. I’m not talking animal cruelty or activism so let’s not go there. I’m talking about when we eat a burger, we get detached that it cost a life for us to live. Much of the ancient world and even in indigenous cultures today, this reality is still very real.
If you’ve been following along lately in my posts, a few times in the last month I’ve been troubled at Christians I’ve met who are fully vested into sin and are not bothered in any way by it. In fact, it is endorsed. And when I read Leviticus, I can see part of the issue–we’ve become detached from the fact that our sin had to cost someone’s life.
In Israel when someone was found to be in sin or they recognized it for themselves, they had to bring a cherished and much needed animal to be slaughtered by the priests. The sinful person bringing the offering laid their hands on the animal’s head to transfer the sin, and then the animal was killed.
The violation against God was so great that it cost a life, the life of an animal, in order to cover the sin. If when I fell into sin, I had to take an animal to be butchered and lay may hands on it to impart my sin, it would be a very real reminder of me of the cost of my sin. I have violated something deeply sacred and because of it there must be a death. It wouldn’t be far away but seeing the death of a creature would remind me that my sins induce death.
For me living in the New Covenant, thankfully I don’t have to bring bulls and goats and such for my sin. Except that it cost a human life to abolish my sin. It cost the life of Jesus. My violation of the holiness of God is so vile that Jesus had to be slaughtered for my sin. My sin. It’s not a small thing.
I violated the sacred in a way so offensive that only he could deal with the problem, with the shedding of his own blood.
And now do I really want to continue to violate the sacred as if it doesn’t matter? No. I cannot make God in my own image and tell him what I do and do not want to do. I cannot let culture tell me how I can serve Him and that this sin is Ok. In fact, I’m wondering what sins are left for people because it seems like they’ve all become so commonplace and acceptable even among God’s own people. I say that with grief in my heart.
The death of Jesus is sacred. It’s not just a nice picture of crosses on a hill. A human life had to be taken.
He literally was slaughtered for my sins.
May we never forget and live accordingly.
“and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” (Heb 9:22)
“If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left (Heb 10:26)
How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? (Heb 10:29)